GlaxoSmithKline saves 120 jobs by reversing plan to close plant

Global pharmaceutical and healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has reversed a decision to shut a plant run by one of its subsidiaries, saving over 100 jobs.

The Stiefel facility in Co Sligo will remain open with an investment of €10m and initially retaining 120 of the 180 staff. It had been due to close next year.

GSK, which bought the business in 2009, announced that the plant will become a dedicated skin healthcare supply and bottling site and it aims to take on 50 additional staff in 2014.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton was at the site as staff were told the closure decision had been reversed. “Central to the Government’s plans for jobs and growth is ensuring not only that we grow our jobs in multinational companies, but also working hard to retain jobs currently in place,” he said.

GSK employs 1,600 staff across five locations in Ireland.

Pat McLoughlin, site director of the plant in Co Sligo, acknowledged the significant contribution of the staff.

“The workforce has shown tremendous effort, commitment and flexibility through a difficult period, increasing productivity by 40% in the last three years.

“This has been a key factor in the decision to choose Sligo for future development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Bruton yesterday announced that the automation solutions division of Munich Re — one of the largest reinsurers in the world — is to establish a strategic R&D facility in Dublin.

The division currently employs 47 people in Ireland.

This new project involves a planned investment of over €8m and the creation of up to 17 additional highly skilled new positions.

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